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Vol. LXIV, No. 12
June 8, 2012
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Conditions Perfect for Healthy ‘Hike’
Masses Hit the Pavement in 5th Annual Employee Exercise Event

NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green kicks off NIH’s 5th annual Take a Hike Day.

NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green kicks off NIH’s 5th annual Take a Hike Day.

Bright sunshine. Clear skies. Brisk breeze. All in all, NIH’s 5th annual Take a Hike Day on May 10 was the kind of day that made you happy to be alive, according to honorary run/walk starter and NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green, former standout cornerback for the Washington Redskins.

“Aren’t you glad you didn’t die yesterday?” quipped Green, moments before the starting whistle signaled step off. “I’m glad to be here at NIH to support all that you do as an institution.”

Reminiscing on his career playing football, he said, “I’m not a big guy, but I was fortunate enough to play a big man’s sport and I got out alive. These days I just want to stay healthy so I can participate with my kids and their kids—and maybe even their kids!”

At age 52, Green—who once also held the title “the NFL’s fastest man”—might become a regular fixture at NIH, promoting health on campus. The Recreation & Welfare Association will join forces soon with WalkFitHealth Nation, a web-based program designed to track fitness progress, and offer activity tips and motivate people to better health. Green is a spokesman for the program.

On hand to greet Green is NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak. Hikers begin their perimeter tour by crossing Center Dr. along Wilson Ln.

On hand to greet Green is NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak.

Hikers begin their perimeter tour by crossing Center Dr. along Wilson Ln.

Photos: Ernie Branson

More than 1,700 NIH’ers registered to take a hike this year, with more than 2,000 thought to have participated, according to NIH’s self-described “senior official for wellness,” Dr. Alfred Johnson, director of the Office of Research Services. ORS’s Division of Amenities and Transportation Services coordinates the hike.

Since the event began in 2007, more than 9,000 people have taken the approximately 3-mile perimeter hike around NIH’s Bethesda campus. A fair amount of participants longing for a quicker pace opt for the “fun run.” Along the route, several water stations were sponsored by a variety of groups, including NHLBI’s Heart Truth campaign, CIT, the Office of Human Resources, CIVIL, the Public Health Service, NIDDK, NIAMS, the Clinical Center and the Job Club of the Office of the Director.

“We’re taking our own best advice,” enthused Johnson, in opening remarks. He also announced the institute/center that registered the most participants for the event: The Office of the Director won bragging rights this year.—Carla Garnett

Robert Sherman (l) of Bethesda’s Equinox Fitness Club leads a pre-hike warm-up to get participants in the spirit. gathering for a photo are hike enthusiasts (from l) NIH R&W President Randy Schools, ORS director Dr. Alfred Johnson, Green, Chris Gaines and Office of Human Resources Director Chris Major.
At left, Robert Sherman (l) of Bethesda’s Equinox Fitness Club leads a pre-hike warm-up to get participants in the spirit. At right, gathering for a photo are hike enthusiasts (from l) NIH R&W President Randy Schools, ORS director Dr. Alfred Johnson, Green, Chris Gaines and Office of Human Resources Director Chris Major.

 

Warm-up in full effect

Warm-up in full effect

with Green, a crew from NINDS rocks matching T-shirts

Above, with Green, a crew from NINDS rocks matching T-shirts. Below, everybody got in on the action, even those not yet independently mobile.

everybody got in on the action, even those not yet independently mobile.
the DATS Take a Hike Day Team includes (from l) Mary Ellen Savarese, Johnson, Joy Gaines, Chigasa Odor, Pat Thomas, Michelle Mejia, Carole Harman (seated), Tonya Lee and John Crawford.

Above, the DATS Take a Hike Day Team includes (from l) Mary Ellen Savarese, Johnson, Joy Gaines, Chigasa Odor, Pat Thomas, Michelle Mejia, Carole Harman (seated), Tonya Lee and John Crawford. Below, FIC’s Patricia Lee Callahan (l) helps hand out free water bottles provided by the NIH Federal Credit Union.

FIC’s Patricia Lee Callahan (l) helps hand out free water bottles provided by the NIH Federal Credit Union.

 

On hand to greet Green is NIH principal deputy director Dr. Lawrence Tabak. Hikers begin their perimeter tour by crossing Center Dr. along Wilson Ln.

ORS director Johnson accepts the trophy for the Office of the Director, which registered the most employees for the hike

Participants in the “fun run” portion of the event take off at the sound of the whistle.



 


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